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Leslie1Midnight Moment: Leslie Thornton, Binocular Menagerie, May 1-31, 2014; 11:57-midnight, every night. Photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts.

Leslie Thornton, Binocular Menagerie 
May 1-31, 2014, every night from 11:57 p.m.–midnight

Celebrating the two year anniversary of Midnight Moment, animals of all kinds will fill Times Square’s spectacular screens in May, turning the square into an urban jungle every night with Leslie Thornton’s Binocular Menagerie. Thornton’s Midnight Moment film will premiere just before midnight on Thursday, May 1st, and play every night throughout May from 11:57 p.m.–midnight. Midnight Moment is a monthly presentation of The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. Thornton’s film is presented in partnership with the Winkleman Gallery.

Binocular Menagerie features a wide array of animals of various species—birds, reptiles, mammals, some exotic, others familiar and commonplace. Thornton uses a simple play of direct and abstracted imagery to bring out dimensions of animal behavior that generally go by unheeded. Two circular fields appear side by side, creating a binocular effect. On the left are images of the various animals, beautifully captured doing what they do in the wild and in captivity. On the right, the very same image is folded back on itself in a centripetal pattern, reminiscent of a kaleidoscope. The two circular fields are intimately connected: the movements of the animals on the left are remapped into the elegant mathematical abstraction on the right.

The effect is unexpected and profound: the viewer notices minute tremors and shifts (a small heart beating, for example) in the left sphere, by catching the very same resonant motion, multiplied, recast, and disembodied in the pattern on the right. The effect is of a glimpse into another being, a view prior to language and outside of our expectations. Thornton’s beautiful, meditative camerawork locates the movements of predator/prey relations in the most subtle fragments and configurations of behavior and morphology. All of her work has this intensity, an almost painfully precise focus on the fundamental minutiae of being in the world.

“In Binocular Menagerie, I wanted to create an exotic environment of ‘almost-nature’ for Times Square, in which there is co-habitation of animal, machine, architecture and man. I thought of multiple King Kongs, both horrible and sublime at the same time, and I thought of taking over this whole visual field with small revelations.” -- Leslie Thornton

Leslie2Midnight Moment: Leslie Thornton, Binocular Menagerie, May 1-31, 2014; 11:57-midnight, every night. Photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts.


Midnight Moment: Leslie Thornton, Binocular Menagerie, May 1-31, 2014; 11:57-midnight, every night. Photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts.


Midnight Moment: Leslie Thornton, Binocular Menagerie, May 1-31, 2014; 11:57-midnight, every night. Photo by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts.

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Midnight Moment is the largest coordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content on electronic billboards and newspaper kiosks throughout Times Square every night. The program premiered in May 2012 and is organized and supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in partnership with Times Square Arts, the public art program for the Times Square Alliance, with additional partners of participating sign holders and artists.

Each night, Times Square becomes a digital art gallery through dazzling visuals on select billboards and newsstands. Every show begins at 11:57 p.m. with a "countdown" that signals the start of the three minute nightly presentation. Past artists featured in the program include Isaac Julien; Robert Wilson; Tracey Emin; Seoungho Cho; Vicki DaSilva, Surabhi Saraf, and Elly Cho; Erika Janunger; Takeshi Murata; Bel Borba with Burt Sun and André Costantini; Zach Nader; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm); Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; Nature Theater of Oklahoma; Ezra Wube; Laleh Khorramian; Brian Dailey; and Yoko Ono.

Times Square Advertising Coalition

Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community.   Members of TSAC include:  ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters. www.timessquareadcoalition.org

About Leslie Thornton

The seminal and enigmatic media artist Leslie Thornton straddles the media and art worlds and is known for addressing a range of charged subjects. Her work ventures into the highly imaginative and quasi-fantastic, and is often arranged in serial or episode format, incorporating distinctly “post-modern” combinations of archival and original footage, moving and still images. Thornton’s early experiments in film, video, and installation helped blaze a trail for video artists, along with Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, and others. She has received many awards, including the Maya Deren Award, the first Alpert Award in the Arts for media, a nomination for the Hugo Boss Award, two Rockefeller Fellowships, and she is a current Guggenheim Fellow. Her work has been shown across the world, in such venues as dOCUMENTA; MoMA PS1: Centre Pompidou; Tate Modern and the Serpentine Gallery in London, and at the New York and Rotterdam Film Festivals, among others.

About Winkleman Gallery

The gallery was launched as “Plus Ultra Gallery” in 2001 by independent curator Edward Winkleman and artist Joshua in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Gallery exhibitions have been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, Art on Paper and many other art publications. Moving into Chelsea in March 2006, the gallery name was changed when Murat Orozobekov joined Edward Winkleman as Co-Owner. We have participated in art fairs such as The Armory Show, SEVEN, Pulse, ARCO, Art Chicago, NADA, INDEPENDENT, and Moving Image. Gallery artists have exhibited in some of the world’s most important venues and biennials, including the Venice Biennale, the Vienna Kunsthalle, The Art Institute in Chicago, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Singapore Biennale, the Sharjah Biennial, and the Whitney Biennial. For more information, please visit www.winkleman.com

12 past 12

Looking for a nightcap after Midnight Moment? Times Square Alliance and Times Square Arts present the promotional program, 12 past 12, featuring twelve neighborhood bars, open past midnight, that offer locals and visitors a speciality cocktail or deal to enjoy following the Midnight Moment screening. Just mention "Midnight Moment!"